Basketball's Comeback Falls Short in Non-conference Action

Zahkeyah Allen action photo.

POULTNEY, Vt. – The Green Mountain College women's basketball team celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a 52-44 win in non-conference action on Monday afternoon at the Eagle Dome. The Eagles move to 3-9 with the victory, while the Lyons fall to 0-15 on the season.

Green Mountain was led by Sharena Armstrong (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) who recorded 18 points and six rebounds. The Eagles' offense was supplemented by Mercedes Rideout (Nashville, Tenn.) who poured in 11 points. Britanny Frasier (Warrensburg, N.Y.) hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds in addition to her six points, while Taylor Hill (Ronceverte, W.Va.) notched eight points and five rebounds.

Junior guard Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) led the Mount Holyoke offense with a career-high 22 points, while first year guard Raquel Fitzpatrick (Providence, R.I./Providence Country Day School) contributed eight points and seven rebounds in the effort. Junior guard Zahkeyah Allen (Philadelphia, Pa./Freire Charter School) led the team with nine rebounds while adding seven points.

The teams were tentative on the offensive end in the early going until Armstrong broke the scoreless tie three minutes in with a layup. After Hodges responded with a layup of her own, the Eagles got a triple from Rideout to extend the early lead to 7-2. The teams traded baskets until the end of the quarter with the Eagles taking an 11-6 lead to the second stanza. Armstrong was the leading scorer with six for the hosts while Hodges led the Lyons with three.

After shooting under 20 percent to start the game, the Lyons responded with a much improved second quarter shooting performance hitting on 42.9 percent of its shots to edge the Eagles 13-12 in the period. Hodges again was the visitor's high scorer in the quarter with nine points, while Taylor Hill led the hosts with five points. Despite getting outscored in the quarter, the Eagles took a 23-19 lead into halftime.

Green Mountain came out of the break with a more organized offense hitting on 7-of-14 shots to outscore Mount Holyoke 16-11. Armstrong notched six points to lead the home side, while Hodges once again led the visitors with five.

The Lyons made the game interesting in the final quarter by posting a staunch comeback. After Frasier scored on a nice set up from Armstrong with 7:47 to play to make it 43-32, the Lyons reeled off eight-straight points capped by a Fitzpatrick layup to close the gap to 43-40 with 3:19 to play. Hodges was responsible for six of the eight points during the run. While the Eagles were still unable to score on their next possession, Keegan Hill grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled on the play. She hit one of her two free throws and then promptly secured the defensive rebound once the Lyons missed on their next opportunity down the floor.

Entering the game late, Estela Felix Almeida made the lone shot that she took count as she made a driving layup off of a nice dish from Rideout to give the Eagles a 46-40 lead. After an exchange of points made it 47-42, the Lyons had the ball with the opportunity to cut into the deficit, but Keegan Hill stepped up and forced an offensive charge call on the visitors who were then forced to foul to stop the clock. The Eagles made their free throws down the stretch to secure their third win of the season.

The Eagles turn right around and return to conference play tomorrow when they travel to face Colby-Sawyer at 5:30 p.m. The Lyons will host Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday with the tip scheduled for 7 p.m.